Which suburb should I buy in?
You’ve got the perfect house in mind; double storey, fireplace, you can see it now. But where? If it’s all about location, which suburb should you choose for your first home? And with so many great options out there, what factors should you take into account when you’re setting down roots?
Follow these guiding principles – call them the four As:
The price of houses is the most popular reason people choose a particular place to live in Australia.
Your budget will generally dictate when you can and should buy. Look for locations where the median price is comfortably in your budget range and give yourself at least a few to explore and compare.
Take care not to over extend yourself, and don’t despair if your dream location feels out of reach for your current situation.
You might be able to buy a smaller block, or in a nearby suburb likely to benefit from the flow on effects of growth and vibrancy in your preferred locale.
Do you have what you need close to hand?
A good area should have a mix of retail and recreation facilities, with schools and medical providers not too far away. It’s ok if these things aren’t all immediately present, as long as you know they’re planned in the not too distant future.
If you’re looking further out of the city, scout around to see if there are different types of amenities, such as farms that sell organic produce (which may reduce the need to visit a traditional supermarket).
Transport links are also important to keep you connected to work, play and travel. It’s ideal to have a blend of transport options – such as road and rail – to keep options open.
Read more: Questions to ask your builder
Though it’s trickier to measure, the atmosphere of a location can be make or break. Is the vibe relaxed and friendly? Tranquil and subdued? Or energetic and youthful? Atmosphere is whatever feels the most meaningful and striking to you, and it’s important you have an informed impression of how your future neighbourhood ‘ticks’.
The best way to gauge atmosphere is to spend time in a place. If you can organise it, devote at least an afternoon to the area you’re thinking of buying in.
Grab a coffee, some lunch, and people watch for a while. Do a spot of shopping. Attend a local event. You’ll get a feel for who lives in the neighbourhood, the lifestyles on offer, and how they match up to your ideal.
You can’t possibly know everything you and your family will ever want or need to plan for when you buy your first home. But if you choose your location wisely, it can help set you up for financial security and greater flexibility down the track.
Your home is probably the biggest investment you’ll ever make and it’s an asset that needs to pay dividends over the long term.
A location already compelling yet poised for even greater growth will be easier for you to rent or sell in future— helping you build wealth for you and your loved ones.
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